Purple and Green Tie Dyed Skinny Jeans

Tie dying has always been something I wanted to learn.  Tie dying has come along ways since the circular rainbow patterns we think of.  Its now turned into something much more fashionable.  Earthy tones and muted, darker hues are popular. 

What else was I going to do with a bright white pair of skinny jeans with a zipper at the ankles?  While I like the distressed tie dyed look of the moment, I wanted to try something new, something with vertical lines to lengthen the legs since skinny jeans can make people look short sometimes.

I had a bit of trouble getting the dye to adhere following the instructions on the rit dye packets.  My mom, a teenager in the 60’s informed me to put vinegar all over the dyed items before I washed them, thanks mom!  I dyed a pair of jeans and a set of bed sheets.  Here is what I used:

3 bottles Purple Rit Dye

2 boxes Kelly Green Rit Dye

1 box Teal Rit Dye


2 Plastic Bins, not too big

plastic gloves


spray bottle

rubber bands

100%  white cotton fabric to dye.  (my jeans were 97% cotton 3% spandex and the sheets were 60% cotton 40% polyester)

  1. First I washed the  items I wanted to dye and dryed them.  This gets off anything that would allow the dye not to stick well.
  2. I prepared the dye bath with about 1 gallon of hot water (up to 140 degrees), 1/2 cup salt, and 2 bottles of purple dye and a box of Teal dye. (The more concentrated the dye the darker your items will be)  Stir with a plastic spoon.  Do this in the bathtub or outside in your old clothes.
  3. Put all of the items in the bin, making sure they are all covered in liquid.  Let them sit in the dye for a few minutes.  The longer they sit, the darker they’ll be.
  4. Take them out and allow them to drip for about 30 minutes.  I did this in the bathtub and it stained it, but I got it off with Clorox Cleanup.  It’s easier to do this outside!
  5. Fill your spray bottle up with vinegar and spray over your item (you’ll definitely want to be in a well ventilated area for this).  Let it soak in for another 15 minutes.
  6. Rinse the item with cool water until it runs clear or almost clear.
  7. Let the item drip dry.
  8. Follow these folding instructions and dipping instructions (I did a combination of the two)-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPg5Ctu1kYw&feature=related and http://www.ritdye.com/Tie-Dyeing.106.148.lasso I used super concentrated Purple and Royal Blue mixed in a bin of 1/4 gallon of water, a bit of salt and 2 boxes of Kelly Green in a bin of 1/4 gallon of water and some salt.  Depending on how large your item is, you’ll have to prepare the correct amount of dye.  Too much dye and you’ll just dye over the purple.  I dipped one half the item in the purple royal blue and then took it out and flipped it over and dyed it kelly green. I layed it flat to drip out, so the colors wouldn’t bleed too much into each other.
  9. I did not rinse after step 8, I applied vinegar again!!  Then I rinsed well after waiting a bit.
  10. Let them air/drip dry and then wash them on the gentle cycle with a small amount of detergent. Run an empty cycle with detergent to make sure you don’t dye the inside of your washing machine.    Dry in the dryer.
  11. You should be finished!

Here is the top sheet I made, I have matching pillowcases too. I got the set for $15 at Target.  Note that the less cotton it has in it the less color there will be.  Dying on things like polyester, spandex, rayon won’t work.


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